London: A theory suggests that as hunter-gatherers encountered farmers, they were converted to an agricultural way of living, but a large-scale genetic analysis of Stone Age remains in Sweden suggests that this wasn`t the case.
Instead, it seems like early farmers and hunter-gatherers had deep-rooted genetic differences.
This suggests that European farmers were so successful that they displaced hunter-gatherers as they spread across the continent, New Scientist reported.
Pontus Skoglund of Uppsala University in Sweden and his colleagues sequenced the DNA from 11 early hunter-gatherers and farmers dating back to between 5000 and 7000 years ago. Four were associated with late Stone Age farming settlements; seven were identified as coastal hunter-gatherers.
DNA analysis showed that the farmers and hunter-gatherers descended from distinct genetic lineages.
Comparisons with the genes of modern populations revealed them to be more distinct than the genomes of modern Scandinavians and Italians.
The study is published in the journal Science.